The Paper of Record for Greenwich Greenw w ic ich h Village, V i ll Vi l age, East Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Union Square, Sq q ua u a rre e , Chinatown Ch C h iin na att o ow w n and Noho, Since 1933
August 10, 2017 • $1.00 Volume 87 • Number 32
Squadron resignation shakes up landscape; Special election likely BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
n a shocker, state Senator Daniel Squadron announced Wednesday morning in an e-mail to constituents — plus in an op-ed in the Daily News — that he’ll be stepping down from office this Friday. Since 2008, Squadron has
represented the Senate’s twoborough-spanning 26th District, which includes Lower Manhattan, the Lower East Side, Soho and Tribeca, as well as Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Brooklyn Heights and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. SQUADRON continued on p. 10
Silver wins his bid for SCOTUS hearing, but retrial ‘inevitable’ PHOTO BY REBECCA WHITE
BY MARY REINHOLZ
he Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which vacated the 2015 conviction of fallen Lower East Side pol Sheldon Silver last month, cleared the way on Aug. 3 for him to request a review of his corruption case from the U.S.
Supreme Court. In granting Silver’s motion to ask SCOTUS for an order of certiorari — a writ from a high court to a lower court requesting its proceedings in a case — the appellate panel effectively stalled federal prosecutors in SILVER continued on p. 4
L .G.B.T. youth talk about the Christopher St. Pier. See Pages 26 and 27.
‘Tech hub’ O.K. may take a zoning change BY MICHAEL OSSORGUINE
he “tech hub” that is planned for the P.C. Richard & Sons site east of Union Square is set to enter the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) soon. That process is slated to complete in 2018. The project, at 120 E. 14th St., has been the center of an ongoing debate between preservationists and affordable
housing advocates on one side and technology companies and real estate developers on the other. However, the hopeful developers say that to call the whole thing a technology center actually may be inaccurate. The site is owned by the city, so the Economic Development Corporation, in collaboration with potential developers, is the entity drafting applications for the space.
This process began with a request for proposals, or R.F.P., in 2015. The winning application was R.A.L. Companies & Affiliates LLC’s plan for a 20-story office building. As for the tech hub part of the project, an outfit called Civic Hall will sublet the first three floors, two of which will be a “community and workplace development center supported TECH continued on p. 6
Durst done it; Spotted scofflaw copters............p. 2 Trump (almost) spoils Jersey Shore idyll ..........p. 9 Let the moon shine in ..............p. 9
met again this Tuesday and Wednesday. Two additional meetings have been scheduled for Aug. 22 and a date in early September. So, it’s not looking like anything will be decided this month. “Seems that way,” Fox said. “August is a hard time to get a lot of folks together.”
PIER55 TALKS STILL ALIVE: There still isn’t any resolution on the Pier55 situation, and it’s looking like there might not be any until next month. Tom Fox, one of the plaintiffs from The City Club of New York who have been litigating against the glamorous $250 million Barry Diller-funded pier project, said their negotiations with the media mogul’s reps and the Hudson River Park Trust are ongoing. “We are continuing to meet,” Fox said. Their first sit-down was two weeks ago after the Trust reached out to the City Club plaintiffs and asked for a parley to see if some terms could be worked out under which they would agree to let the privately funded and operated “arts pier” plan — proposed for off of W. 13th St. — proceed. As we previously reported, Fox said the plaintiffs told the Trust and Diller’s people their specific “wants” for the project and process and are now waiting to see what the other side will agree to. The parties
DURST, COPTER SPOTTER: Our scoop last week on the W. 30th St. heliport operator agreeing to pay the Hudson River Park Trust $250,000 after being caught allowing illegal tourist chopper flights from the park landing pad failed to mention one important fact: Namely, it was none other than developer and waterfront park activist Douglas Durst who first suspected that the banned flights were once again back in action. The former chairperson of Friends of Hudson River Park this week confirmed to us that, yes, it was he who raised the alarm. It was under Durst, of course, that the Friends sued to stop the tourist flights nine years ago. An online ad caught his eye. “I had seen an ad for these photography flights and I said, ‘That sounds interesting — it’s something I’d like to do.’ And then I realized I’d be doing it as a tourist, not a photographer, and that it would not be permitted under the settlement that was ordered when I was chairperson of the Friends of Hudson River Park. I thought we had spent a lot of time and money to prevent this and that this was a subterfuge,” he said of the scam. Durst then contacted attorney Dan Alterman, who with his partner, Arlene Boop, had represented the Friends in their successful ’08 suit to chop the illegal tourist chopper flights. Alterman, in turn, sent someone up on one of the flights, and it was clear that the passengers were not indie filmmakers or National Geographic photographers but simply tourists looking for a thrill. Durst left the Friends in 2012 after having a falling-out with the Trust. The Friends is no longer a watchdog for the park — it used to file lawsuits to get inappropriate uses out of the park — but has largely transitioned into the waterfront park’s fundraising arm. It’s ironic, then, that it was Durst
who caught the copters doing illegal flights. “That’s another sad story,” he acknowledged, “that the Friends had to give up their watchdog role.” And, as The Villager first reported, the wealthy developer has also funded The City Club’s series of lawsuits against Diller’s Pier55 project — though Durst stressed he is no longer doing so. Following our report, Mayor Bill de Blasio even recently personally reached out to Durst, pleading for him to stop financing the litigation. It was just a very brief call, Durst said. “I told him I was no longer involved,” the developer said, “but he, like everybody else, didn’t believe me.” Anyway, moving right along to the next contentious Hudson River Park pier, Durst, of course, six years ago had proposed redeveloping Pier 40 at W. Houston St. with a commercial office campus. Meanwhile, the Trust and local youth sports leagues were backing luxury residential towers — either on the pier or right next to it. And now — waddaya know? — the Trust is backing commercial office redevelopment at Pier 40, though a legislative amendment would be needed. And the Trust is also redeveloping Pier 57, on the Chelsea waterfront at W. 17th St., into commercial office space for Google. “Pier 40 is a much better site than Pier 57,” Durst offered. “If you go by Pier 57 and take a look, the work they’re doing is incredible. It’s good for Google,” he said. “But if they had done it at Pier 40, it would have been done by now. Pier 40 was easily convertible. Pier 57 — they’re taking it apart.” Residential towers on Pier 40 would have been a major project, too, since, due to their height, they would have needed better foundations. “Residential would have required complete new foundations,” Durst told us. “Commercial could have used the existing structure. I never thought residential would have been feasible over the water.” This guy is one of the city’s most prominent developers — you’d think the Trust would have listened to his opinion! Oh, well…it seems that, in a way, they finally are.
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A blown-up photo by Adrian Wilson on Ludlow St. wishes well to Richie Chan, a Lower East Side superintendant known as “The Mayor of Ludlow St.” Chan and his brother have both been suffering serious health issues.
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Erin O’Connor, 50, squatter, activist Named best weekly newspaper in New York State in 2001, 2004 and 2005 by New York Press Association News Story, First Place, 2015 Editorial Page, First Place, 2015 Editorials, First Place, 2014 News Story, First Place, 2014 Overall Design Excellence, First Place, 2013 Best Column, First Place, 2012 Photographic Excellence, First Place, 2011 Spot News Coverage, First Place, 2010 Coverage of Environment, First Place, 2009
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rin Marie O’Connor, an East Village squatter and activist, died Tues., July 25. She was 50. Erin is survived by her son, Sequoia Gibson O’Connor, of New York City, who is in his early 20s. Erin was born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa, by her parents, Bernard and Suzann O’Connor. She graduated from Wahlert Catholic High School in 1984 and attended Loras College, in Dubuque. She moved to New York City, where she spent her adult life. Erin was a poet, an artist and a humanitarian. She was also a natural gifted dancer. She was humble and her passions were raising her son and advocating for social-justice issues in her local community. She gave thousands of volunteer hours to the Catholic Worker’s Mary House, on E. Third St., the Holy Name Center for homeless men, at 10 Bleecker St., and Judson Memorial Church. After the squat she lived in, 719 E. Sixth St., by Avenue C, was seriously damaged by a fire in 2006, Erin lived in Mary House, on and off, for about a year. “She was a wonderful person who could fix most anything,” said Felton Davis, a longtime
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August 10, 2017
resident volunteer worker at Mary House. She eventually returned to the squat, which became legalized in a deal with the city that was hashed out at the end of the Giuliani administration and then approved under Bloomberg in 2002. “All I know is that Erin was very independent and was not happy with the Bloomberg deal,” Davis recalled. “We saw her a few weeks ago at a memorial for one of our longtime workers, Roger O’Neil.” Erin was known as an avid
cyclist. She also worked for a stint at Ray’s Candy Store on Avenue A, helping on the overnight shift. “She rides her bike everywhere,” Asghar Ghahraman a.k.a. Ray marveled to The Villager once after Erin had biked Downtown to fetch some important paperwork for him. Howard Brandstein, executive director of the Sixth St. Community Center, an East Village grassroots organizing center, remembered her fondly. “Great person, very friendly,
Silver wins his bid for SCOTUS hearing SILVER continued from p. 1
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Erin O’Connor in 2008.
very supportive, very smart, politically savvy,” he said. “She understood the nuances of the politics down here, which I liked.” Survivors include her siblings, Matt (Tracey) O’Connor of Hopkinton, IA; John (Raquel) O’Connor of Idleyld Park, OR; Polly O’Connor of Dubuque; Martha (Rob) Leigh of Dubuque; niece and nephews, Cora (Mitch) Stoffel, Liam and Seamus O’Connor; her greatnephews, Connor, Elliott and George Stoffel; her aunt, Mary K. Hickey; and many cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sisters, Katie and Bridget O’Connor. Private services and burial were in Dubuque on Tues., Aug. 8, with assistance from the Egelhof, Siegert & Casper Westview Funeral Home. An Erin M O’Connor Memorial Fund has been established. Memorials may be sent to the Egelhof, Siegert & Casper Funeral Home, 2659 John F. Kennedy Road, Dubuque, IA, 52002. An online memorial is at http:// egelhofsiegertcasper.com/bookof-memories/3017426/O-Connor-Erin/obituary.php According to Davis, Judson Church reportedly may organize a local memorial for Erin. “Hopefully,” he said, “there will also be a memorial here in New York City, where Erin’s many talents and longstanding comradeship in many causes were inspiring.”
their efforts to retry the oncepowerful former New York State Assembly speaker. Silver has been charged with accepting nearly $4 million in two illegal quid-proquo schemes via referral fees from two Manhattan law firms that allegedly hired him for noshow jobs. In a prepared statement, Steven Molo and Joel Cohen, Silver’s lawyers, said, “The court recognized the significance of the issues we will be asking the Supreme Court to review. It halted the trial court proceedings to allow us to do that.” Molo and Cohen have raised issues about a money-laundering charge against Silver and have also said his rights for protection against double jeopardy could be endangered by a
second trial. Undeterred, government prosecutors on Aug. 4 asked U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni to set a “tentative” second trial date for Silver next year. Prosecutors previously had stated in court filings that retrying the 73-year-old Silver was “inevitable” and claimed he was just making a bid for time and a “logistical advantage” by appealing to SCOTUS. Joon H. Kim, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District, in his letter to Caproni in Foley Square, wrote, “Given the logistical challenges associated with scheduling a month-long trial, the Government requests that the Court set a tentative re-trial date in March, April or early May 2018 to permit the parties and the Court to re-try this case in a reasonable time period should the Supreme
Court deny the defendant’s petition for certiorari.” Caproni presided at Silver’s trial, slapping him with a 12year sentence for seven felonies, including extortion and theft of honest services. Responding to Kim’s letter, Caproni reportedly asked both the government and the defense about their availability for a trial from March through August of 2018, a source told The Villager on Monday. In tossing Silver’s conviction, the Second Circuit appellate panel of three judges said that Caproni had given jurors a dated and overly broad concept of corrupt official acts in her instructions — yet they ruled there was sufficient evidence to try Silver again. The Court of Appeals judges based their opinion on a SCOTUS ruling that overturned the
corruption case of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife that was handed down some seven months after Silver was convicted. The McDonnell decision has set a precedent requiring that jurors be instructed on a narrower definition of what constitutes official corruption. Meanwhile, Silver’s chances of getting a hearing from the Supreme Court appear to be slim. “SCOTUS accepts a very, very small percentage of cases they are asked to hear / review,” said Emily Jane Goodman, a Manhattan attorney and retired New York State Supreme Court Justice, in an e-mail to this reporter. Silver’s lawyers have 90 days to petition SCOTUS from the date his conviction was overturned by the Second Circuit TheVillager.com
TOP DRIVER DISTRACTIONS Using mobile phones Leading the list of the top distractions behind the wheel are mobile phones. Phones now do more than just place calls, and drivers often cannot pull away from their phones, even when driving. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, studies have shown that driving performance is lowered and the level of distraction is higher for drivers who are heavily engaged in cell
phone conversations. The use of a hands-free device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and nearcrashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.
Daydreaming Many people will admit to daydreaming behind the wheel or looking at a person or object outside of the car for too long. Per-
haps they’re checking out a house in a new neighborhood or thought they saw someone they knew on the street corner. It can be easy to veer into the direction your eyes are focused, causing an accident. In addition to trying to stay focused on the road, some drivers prefer the help of lane departure warning systems.
Eating Those who haven’t quite mastered walking and
chewing gum at the same time may want to avoid eating while driving. The majority of foods require a person’s hands to be taken off of the wheel and their eyes to be diverted from the road. Reaching in the back seat to share some French fries with the kids is also distracting. Try to eat meals before getting in the car. For those who must snack while en route, take a moment to pull over at
a rest area and spend 10 minutes snacking there before resuming the trip.
Reading Glancing at an advertisement, updating a Facebook status or reading a book are all activities that should be avoided when driving. Even pouring over a traffic map or consulting the digital display of a GPS system can be distracting.
August 10, 2017
‘Tech hub’ O.K. may require a zoning change TECH continued from p. 6
by technology.” The third floor will be an event space, available for public purposes at least 32 times per year, according to R.A.L. The rest of the building would be traditional office space, but it’s expected the tenants filling those spaces will be tech companies. Several local politicians, however, have conditioned their approval of the project on the city’s rezoning an area between 14th St. and Astor Place to prevent further development, particularly high-rise development. “We shouldn’t just blindly embrace projects, especially when they benefit private developers and cost a lot of money,” said state Senator Brad Hoylman. “I believe the community should get a return.” City Councilmember Rosie Mendez represents all four community board districts that are only a block away from the proposed hub. She believes the square of land between Third and Fifth Aves. and 14th St. and Astor Place should have new height restrictions and affordable housing incentives placed on it. She also believes that if this is not done, she would be able to organize a large enough coalition in the City Council to vote against the development when it reviews the application during ULURP. “It sounds like a great idea,” Mendez said of the project. “However, there are always consequences. Considering the housing pressures we have in this city, I think it is incumbent on the city to put these zoning protections in place.” Mendez also claims that since the tech hub was announced, Microsoft has been searching for office space nearby, in what she thinks is cause and effect. This would indicate that “Silicon Alley” as an idea is gaining traction Downtown. In what could be a strategic move by the project’s supporters, the application will probably not come up for a vote while Mendez is still in office, because she will be term-limited out of the Council at the end of this year. Early in the process, in 2015, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation originally drew up a rezoning plan for the area between Eighth and 14th Sts. — the University Place and Broadway “corridors,” as the society called them. In a joint letter to the Department of City Planning that year, signed by Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, Borough President Gale Brewer, Assemblymember Deborah Glick, Mendez and Hoylman, the five politicians said they felt the rezoning proposal “has merit.” More recently, Glick, Mendez and state Senator Liz Krueger have written to the city saying approval of the project should be linked with the rezoning. However, in a break from other local
August 10, 2017
A rendeing of the entr y way of the proposed “tech hub” on E. 14th St. bet ween Third and Four th Aves.
politicians, Brewer has stated that she does not think approval of the tech hub should be contingent on the rezoning. “G.V.S.H.P.’s proposal should not impact the timeline of the Tech Hub and its goal of job creation at living wages, and I don’t think there is an appropriate land use nexus to link the two actions,” Brewer said in a recent letter to City Planning. Usually, in the tug of war between developers and neighborhood residents, the developers make some sort of concessions to the community. But R.A.L., which will be spending $250 million to create the project, has said it will support the community’s goals, and dismisses the preservationists’ agenda. “The idea behind it was to make a synergistic building,” said Joshua Wein, fi nancial director for R.A.L. “It’s so much more than a tech hub. The project is doing so much for the community and for jobs.” According to Wein, the space that will be sublet to Civic Hall will be rented at well below market rate, and will allow academics, entrepreneurs and nonprofits alike to use the space and “bump shoulders,” paying only a membership fee rather than rent. In addition, there will be a large vocational
training center for those who want to improve their technology skills. “It’s not a place where start-ups come to make a ton of money and then move on,” said Andrew Rasiej, C.E.O. and founder of Civic Hall. “It’s a place where people come to help other people.” Rasiej passionately defended his goals, saying that preservationists are, in fact, fighting an ally. “We are actually trying to build systems that would empower community groups to be able to fight —with better data and better tools — overdevelopment, environmental problems and political problems,” he said. In addition, Rasiej contended that he is not crowding out affordable housing by supporting R.A.L.’s project. “You cannot separate job creation from housing,” he said. But community residents remain skeptical. Erin Hussein, board president of Stewart House, the squareblock residential co-op between Broadway and Fourth Ave. and E. Ninth and 10th Sts., supports G.V.S.H.P.’s rezoning position. “Right now, this is a neighborhood that strikes a very delicate balance between residential and commercial,” Hussein said. “Right now, this balance
is being threatened.” Hussein, who is running for City Council in District 2, has researched Civic Hall, and said she is appalled to see in Campaign Finance Board records that the organization has been donating money to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s reelection campaign. She suggested that the mayor is not following through on his goal of creating affordable housing because around 50 percent of his campaign’s funding comes from real estate interests. “This is classic ‘pay to play,’ ” she charged. Several other candidates running for Council District 2 also support the rezoning as a condition of approving the building. Andrew Berman, executive director of G.V.S.H.P., in a talking point for The Villager this past March, charged that the tech-hub building would only further fuel the trend of rampant overdevelopment in the neighborhood. The G.V.S.H.P. rezoning, he stressed, does include an affordable housing component — an incentive for developers to include it in their projects — so he denied that the project’s critics have given up on the affordable housing front. Berman, too, suggested that there is a de Blasio spoils system factoring into things. He backed this up in his talking point by reporting that David Lichtenstein, an E.D.C. board member and political donor, will be constructing a new hotel nearby at 112 E. 11th St. One significant political voice that has not yet weighed in on this subject is Community Board 3, in which the tech hub would be located. The board’s role is advisory, but they will pass a resolution on the tech hub next year, when U.L.U.R.P. has gotten underway. “We are very sensitive to resident concerns for the impact of development in their area,” said Jamie Rogers, C.B. 3 chairperson. As for why the project must go through ULURP, Berman said it’s because the commercial zoning being sought would allow building larger than what is currently permitted, among other things. The current zoning is geared toward allowing a smaller residential building, he noted. Meanwhile, Ryan Birchmeier, an E.D.C. spokesperson, provided statistics he said he thought would coax the community into supporting his agency’s brainchild. He said the project would create 650 well-compensated tech jobs, make 58,000 square feet of space available to growth-stage companies, and create a training center to help develop younger workers for the 21st-century workforce. At this point, whether the application will move forward coupled with new rezoning protections for the area has become the crux of debate. A decision on that likely will not be made until next year. TheVillager.com
“He’s been around for years,” Alberici said. “He’s a neighborhood guy.”
Dead in the park
East Village D.O.A.
On Sun., Aug. 6, around 9 a.m., police responded to a 911 call of an aided male inside of Washington Square Park near the park’s southeast corner. Upon arrival, police discovered a 32-year-old male, unconscious and unresponsive. E.M.S. responded to the location and pronounced the individual dead. The city’s Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death and the investigation is ongoing. Police are withholding man’s name pending notification of his family. However, Villager reader George Jochnowitz said
on Wednesday evening that he had just spoken to a “talkative panhandler” in the park who said the man’s name was Tucker, which he presumed was his first name. Another reader of the newspaper, who requested anonymity, said she heard that the victim was a “crusty,” which usually means a homeless young person, often one who uses alcohol and / or drugs heavily. But in this case, he apparently was not a “crusty traveler,” meaning someone who moves around the country following the warm weather. Jimmy Alberici, a Sixth Precinct community affairs officer, said the man was known to the police.
On Tues., Aug. 8, shortly after 11 a.m., an East Villager was found dead in her apartment. Police responded to a 911 call of an unconscious female inside 535 E. Fifth St. Upon arrival, officers found a 46-yearold woman, unconscious and unresponsive with no apparent signs of trauma. E.M.S. medics responded to the location and pronounced her dead at the scene. Following notification of the woman’s family first, police identified her as Rachael Jaffe, 46. The city’s Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death and the investigation remains ongoing.
Went together Also on Tues., Aug. 8, around 2:24 p.m., police responded to a call of an unconscious female inside 145 E. 16th St. Upon arrival, officers observed two unconscious and unresponsive women, a 70-year-old and a 94-year-old, inside the apartment. E.M.S. responded and pronounced both individuals dead at the location. The city’s Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death and the investigation is ongoing. DNAinfo reported that both women died of heart disease. The New York Post said they had been dead for a week or two. The names of the deceased are being withheld pending proper family notification.
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Park can now take ﬂight
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To The Editor: Re “What the hel(iport)? Operator to pay $250K for illegal tourist flights” (news article, Aug. 3): Bravo to our fabulously wonderful attorneys, Arlene Boop and Dan Alterman! The residents of Hell’s Kitchen could not be more grateful to them. Our portion of the Hudson River Park has been neglected for too long by the Hudson River Park Trust. Now we can involve the community in upgrading and future plans for “our” park. Kathleen McGee Treat Treat is chairperson, Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Association
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To The Editor: Re “Pier 40 e-survey goes out” (news article, Aug. 3): Tobi Bergman and the Community Board 2 Future of Pier 40 Working Group have distributed a survey to help determine what the neighboring communities and Pier 40 stakeholders want for the pier’s development. Respondents to the C.B. 2 survey should be reminded that, in addition to generating funds to support the rest of the park, the Hudson River Park Act requires that the equivalent of 50 percent of the Pier 40 footprint be reserved for “passive and active public open space.” Free public rowing on the south side of Pier 40 enhances public access to both. The Pier 40 ball fields are a treasured resource to the C.B. 2 community, and the results of the survey should reflect that. However, in order to be consistent with the legislation that created the park, plans for the pier’s development must “encourage, promote and expand public access to the river, promote waterbased recreation, and enhance the natural, cultural and historic aspects of the Hudson River.” The free public rowing programs offered by Village Community Boathouse do all that and more. Rowing at Pier 40 and youth team sports on its ball fields are both active uses of open space on the pier — but only rowing is a water-dependent use. Community boathouses also dramatically expand
public access to the open space of the waters that actually make up most Hudson River Park. The area served by C.B. 2 has one of the lowest proportions of public open space per resident in the city. C.B. 2 residents enjoy only 0.58 acres per 1,000 residents, while the standard for the rest of the city is 2.5 acres. Free public access, via small boat, to the Hudson River increases the open space available to the public in a neighborhood that is seriously lacking this basic resource. Sally Curtis Curtis is president, Village Community Boathouse
Stoliars really hooked us To The Editor: Re “Arthur Stoliar, 90, first chairperson of C.B. 2” (obituary, July 27): On behalf of the hundreds of Trout in the Classroom teachers, students, volunteers and supporters, we thank Mr. and Mrs. Stoliar for the gift of this wonderful environmental education program here in New York City. We celebrate your life and your contributions to hands-on STEM learning for all students. Lillit Genovesi Genovesi is coordinator, Trout in the Classroom
Bob’s positive presence To The Editor: Re “Robert Rambusch, 93, liturgical artist, designer” (obituary, July 6): Bob Rambusch was a very special person. I manage Greenwich House’s Center on the Square senior center where Bob would come daily. Bob will be deeply missed at the center. He volunteered for many years and was dedicated to our Theater Club. Bob was respectful, kind and generous. His presence, friendly demeanor and good nature to everyone he encountered meant a lot to so many. We will keep his memory alive here forever. Laura Marceca LETTERS continued on p. 22
Is the game already over?! 8
August 10, 2017
Sharing the Shore uneasily with Trump voters NOTEBOOK BY K ATE WALTER
had an inkling things were changing last summer as I sat on the beach at the Jersey Shore chatting with two seasonal companions. “Enough with the lib stuff,” one told me. “You know we’re Republicans.” Actually, I didn’t know, but naively assumed we had similar politics. We grew up in the same gritty city (Paterson), had lost touch and reconnected at the shore. I could handle them being Republicans but voting for Trump was more than I could stomach. After that crack, we tabled election talk and chatted about the weather forecast and dining out. I’ve lived in the liberal bubble of New York City for so long that I’m jolted when I visit Ocean and Monmouth counties in New Jersey. It is more scary this summer since Trump won. Fast-forward to this summer’s July Fourth holiday. I was having drinks at a restaurant in Asbury Park with three female writer friends, all staunch Democrats and residents of my native state. Caren started ranting about how she hated Trump and how he was a misogynist. Dawn noted that the young people at the next table gave us dirty looks. The next night I was standing on the boardwalk in Ocean Grove waiting for the fi reworks. Dawn told me about her campaigning for Hillary and how she had a feeling Trump might win. I expressed my shock and disgust that he got elected. “That fat guy on the bench is throwing us daggers,” she said to me. “Maybe he is upset I made a remark about his stinky cigar?” I asked. “No, he got a nasty look when you started dissing Trump. Makes me nervous.” I always spend this summer holiday in Ocean Grove, which attracts a weird mix of liberals and gays (who revived the Victorian resort) and conservative Christians (who founded the town). I stay in a gayowned B&B where other guests literally carry the Bible. While I’d never bring up politics at the shared breakfast table, I’m not going to censor myself while talking with my liberal friends for fear of offending someone on the next beach blanket or the adjacent restaurant table. I refuse to lower my voice because the nearby family under the red umbrella planted a TheVillager.com
“Don’t Tread on Me” flag and my companion insists that is code for supporting Trump. A week later I was 20 miles south staying at the family summer bungalow in Ocean Beach (near Lavallette). “Wait until you see the houses with the Trump flags,” said my niece, Monica, giving me advance warning. I flashed back to the summer of 2008 when she tried to convince me to vote for Obama in the Democratic primary and I was a diehard Hillary supporter. It seemed like a generation gap. I’m a baby boomer and she’s three decades younger. Of course I supported Obama after he won the primary, just as my niece voted for Hillary in 2016. “Look to your right,” Monica said as we were driving down Rte. 35 South in her SUV. “There’s one.” I turned and saw a big red-and-white flag flying from a tall flagpole visible for at least a block. In the middle of the white background, red letters proclaimed “TRUMP”. I’d been expecting a small flag affi xed to a house, not this gigantic monstrosity. To me, it takes a special kind of stupid to boldly advertise your support for Trump in a resort area in a blue state. While I know the year-round residents of both Monmouth and Ocean counties vote Republican, the population swells tremendously during the summer months, with folks like my mother and sister who own second homes, and with people who rent vacation houses for a couple of weeks. Most of the summer people are from the New Jersey counties “up North” who vote Democratic or they’re from New York City. Aren’t these flag-waving members of Cult 45 worried someone might vandalize their houses after having too many drinks? I’d never go that far but I was tempted to round up some friends and sit outside their residences with “Impeach Trump” signs. I wanted to ask them: Why are you proud to have elected a “pussy-grabbing” misogynist who attacks the media and our judicial system and our intelligence agencies and who wants to take healthcare away from millions? But instead, I just went to the beach and enjoyed reading novels and swimming in the ocean. Although I’ve lived in the Village for decades, I’m a beach person who grew up spending every summer of my life at the Jersey Shore. I’m not going to let the Trump voters ruin my vacation. But this year, I really got what it meant to be a card-carrying liberal New Yorker. It’s going to be a long, hot summer.
PHOTOS BY BOB KRASNER
By the light of the moon “La Luna La Plaza” was the first in a planned series of “full-moon healing celebrations,” according to co-organizer Bill Di Paola, of the Times Up! environmental group. Held in La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez Community Garden, at E. Ninth St. and Avenue C, the event featured group meditation, homemade refreshments and song and poetry by Sandflower, as well as a fire dance featuring Masae Satouchi. Information on future events can be found at times-up.org.
Walter is author of the memoir “Looking for a Kiss: A Chronicle of Downtown Heartbreak” and “Healing” August 10, 2017
Squadron’s departure sets up special election SQUADRON continued from p. 1
Basically, Squadron said he’s leaving dysfunctional and corrupt Albany to focus on fighting back against Donald Trump on a national level. “Like many across the country, since November, I’ve thought a lot about how best to change the direction of our country, and stand up for core values that are under threat,” he wrote in his e-mail. “After much reflection, I have decided to lend my hand to make a difference in states across the country, pushing policies and candidates that will create a fairer and more democratic future. It’s not possible to take on this challenge and continue to be a fulltime legislator, which is what I always promised I would be.” Writing in the Daily News, he said, “There are no easy answers, but I believe stronger candidates, a sharpened approach and better policies at the state level can help turn the tide nationally. In the coming months, along with entrepreneur Adam Pritzker and Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, I will launch a national effort focused on addressing this crisis — joining others already doing important work toward 2018 and beyond.” So, there will be another Downtown legislative seat vacant for a while — in this case, five months, until January,
Daniel Squadron’s announcement that he is leaving the state Senate sets the stage for a special election to fill the 26th District seat.
when his replacement will take office. The Democratic candidate will once again be picked by the County Committee members, probably next month or October, followed by a special election. In this case, though, it’s different from the process held for Assembly in 2015, that saw Alice Cancel picked by the County Committee, only for her to later lose to Yuh-Line Niou in the September
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August 10, 2017
primary, for Shelly Silver’s vacant Lower Manhattan seat. Niou then, naturally, won the general election handily in the heavily Democratic district. This time, though, the County Committee includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. When exactly each part of the County Committee would vote is unclear. Former Assemblymember Keith Wright, the Manhattan County Democratic leader, will call the vote of the County Committee, setting the date for them to make the selection. Since the Manhattan part represents 65 percent of the district, it’s up to Wright — and not the Brooklyn party leader — to call the County Committee vote. As for the ensuing special election — which would see the sole County Committee-picked Dem candidate face off against a potential Republican and possibly a Working Families Party or Green opponent, as well — Governor Andrew Cuomo reportedly will be the one to “call it,” as in, announce it. However, in this case, the special election reportedly will be scheduled for the same day as the general election in November, “to save money.” Or at least this is what people are hearing, at this point. Unlike what happened with Silver’s former seat, there won’t be a primary election this time around because of the late date — the period for petitioning to get candidates on the ballot was in June and closed in July. So, the special election’s winner will be the new senator. District Leader Paul Newell, who also lost out to Niou for Silver’s vacant seat is definitely expected to be in the running, according to Sean Sweeeny, a leader in the Downtown Independent Democrats political club. Assemblymember Brian Kavanah also put out a press release Wednesday afternoon announcing he intends to vie for the seat. “I am running for state Senate to fight for our communities in Manhattan and
Brooklyn and create the progressive, reform-minded Senate that New Yorkers deserve,” Kavanagh wrote. “For 11 years in the Assembly, I have advocated for my constituents and stood up when government in Albany has failed to function as it should. As a state senator, I will fight for the things that matter to New Yorkers: strengthening rent laws and preserving affordable housing, increasing access to quality schools, safeguarding the environment, promoting economic and social justice, preventing violence in our communities, and creating a fairer and more accessible political process.” “So, we don’t know the process right now,” Newell told The Villager on Wednesday. “I am very seriously considering the race. I have been calling people, engaging support, today. No matter what the process, I am a leading — if not the leading — candidate, and would seriously consider a run. If it is a County Committee vote, I think I’m in a very strong position. I have good support in Brooklyn and throughout Lower Manhattan.” Newell said, in addition to D.I.D., he also has the support of the Lower East Side Democrats and former State Committeeman John Quinn. He said it’s possible the candidate actually might not be picked by the County Committee, but some other way, didn’t provide further details. Other names being heard include Niou and Lincoln Restler, a Brooklyn Democratic district leader and state committeeman. Newell isn’t daunted by Kavanagh, according to his supporters. “Paul Newell is actively in the race and may have a goodly part of the Manhattan County Committee supporting him,” Sweeney said. “Of course, Brooklyn has a large share of the Senate district, so how the Brooklyn County Committee goes — with Restler? — remains to be seen. D.I.D. is going to call a meeting ASAP to address the vacancy. But I am expecting we will support Paul 100 percent.” Sweeney said Newell can count on well more than 25 percent of the district’s County Committee members selecting him. Political observers raised their eyebrows when Kavanagh, who lived up in the E. 30s, last year moved down into part of his district that overlaps with Squadron’s, settling into an apartment on Avenue A around E. First St. Why Kavanagh would want to leave the Assembly, where the Democrats hold the clear majority and he chairs a committee, is puzzling to some. As for Squadron’s stepping down and pronouncements of trying to roll back the Trump tide, one local politico shrugged, “Ten years in Albany is a long time. Everyone knew that Squadron was dissatisfied in Albany and wanted out of office.” TheVillager.com
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Deﬁning images from decisive moments India, as seen by the keen eye of Henri Cartier-Bresson BY NORMAN BORDEN Here is India through the eyes of one of the most — maybe the most — influential and revered photographers of the 20th century: Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004). The artist himself selected 69 of his favorite images for a 2002 show in Oslo, and now that collection is part of the Rubin Museum of Art’s enthralling exhibition, “Henri Cartier-Bresson: India in Full Frame.” As his personal choices, these pictures offer unusual insight into what the artist considered to be among his best and most significant work during his time in India. They include his first meeting with Mahatma Gandhi as well as superb examples of his “street photography,” a genre he is widely credited with pioneering. Numerous images illustrate what Cartier-Bresson famously termed “The Decisive Moment,” explaining, “Photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event, as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression.” What’s more, his first Leica camera, letters, and examples of his published work in Life and other magazines add another dimension to the show and help deepen the understanding of this iconic artist. His involvement with India began when he co-founded the photo cooperative Magnum Photos in early 1947 with Robert Capa and three other veteran photojournalists. Assigned to cover India and China, he was hesitant about going until Capa enticed him with the promise that his images would appear “fullframe” in magazines — not cropped. He agreed and, as the beginning of a three-year stay in East Asia, went to India in late 1947. Cartier-Bresson arrived in an India untethered from British colonialism and recently partitioned from Pakistan. He began to document the country’s chaos, political figures, people, and the street TheVillager.com
©Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos
An astrologer’s shop in the mill workers’ quarter of Parel, Bombay, Maharashtra, India, 1947.
life — and would return to India five more times over the next several decades, capturing the soul of India with his portraits of royalty, refugees, shopkeepers, and beggars as well as temples, landscapes, and streetscapes. “India in Full Frame” provides a stunning view of his fascination and appreciation of the country and its people. In January 1948, the artist traveled to Delhi to meet and photograph Mahatma Gandhi, who was now in the midst of a hunger strike as a protest against the Hindu-Muslim violence caused by the partitioning. Cartier-Bresson photographed Gandhi during and after his fast, and, for the last time, on January 30. Only 90 minutes after their last meeting, Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu nationalist. In the ensuing hours and days, Cartier-Bresson became an eyewitness to history. In a remarkable series of photographs, he documented the funeral, from the
first flame of Gandhi’s cremation to the amphibious “duck” boat that was carrying Gandhi’s ashes. Looking for a different perspective of the huge crowds along the route of the cortege, he pointed his camera up to photograph a group of men perched in a big tree hoping to get a better view. When Life Magazine and others published Cartier-Bresson’s comprehensive and sensitive reporting of Gandhi’s death, he gained international recognition. The rest, as they say, is history. India offered Cartier-Bresson a wealth of photo opportunities over the years and they are in full view here. He had a keen eye for juxtaposition, quickly spotting the relationships and/or the dichotomy in a visual. One thoroughly engaging example is “An Astrologer’s Shop In The Mill Workers’ Quarter of Parel, Bombay, Maharashtra, India.” Here, two men are smoking, gazing intently at the camera, framed by a
sign that promises “GREAT CARE OF ALL SARTS (sic) OF DISEASES WITH OUT (sic) MEDICINE...” (remember, this is an astrologer’s shop). In the background, skulls sit on shelves, perhaps mute testimony to the astrologer’s powers. I wondered if the artist smiled when he took this picture. In July 1948, Cartier-Bresson went to Kashmir to photograph the struggle between India and Pakistan over that disputed region. In his stunning “Muslim Women On The Slopes Of Hari Parbal Hill, Praying Towards The Sun Rising Behind The Himalayas,” (also the cover of his book “In India”), the two women kneeling, two standing, one of them with her hands outstretched in prayer, illustrate the geometric structure that was part of “the decisive moment.” However, the irony here, as Cartier-Bresson noted in INDIA continued on p. 16 August 10, 2017
Harbor view powers Battery Dance Annual fest features free al fresco performances BY SCOTT STIFFLER Graceful, athletic, precise and disciplined, professional dancers are paragons of peak conditioning — but even the best of them would be hard-pressed to match the endurance record set by the annual Battery Dance Festival (BDF). Year number 36 finds the festival reveling “in the panoply of dance that our city offers, with strong emphasis on the inclusion of diverse dance styles and an international roster of performers.” That “big tent” pledge, mind you, applies only to the talent — not the setting. Much of BDF’s unique identity flows from its outdoor venue: Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park in Battery Park City. There, with the backdrop of the New York harbor providing Broadway-meets-Hollywood production values, emerging and established dance companies will perform over the course of six consecutive nights. Among the featured artists, nearly three dozen in total: Danuka Ariyawansa + Behri Drums and Dance Ensemble (Sri Lanka), Ballet
Photo by Darial Sneed
The Battery Dance Festival beckons.
Photo by Darial Sneed
Dancers from around the corner and around the world are set to scrape the sky.
Inc., and Peridance Contemporary Dance Company. On Tues., Aug. 15, BDF hosts the Indo-American Arts Council’s “Erasing
Borders Festival of Indian Dance,” with performances by Aakansha Maheshwari, Dimple Saikia, Kalamandir Dance, and others. The festival wraps up on Sat.,
Aug. 19, with an indoor event featuring Battery Dance, Mophato Dance Theatre (Botswana), and Bollylicious (Belgium). Free performances from 7–9pm, Sun., Aug. 13 through Fri., Aug. 18, at Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park in Battery Park City (20 Battery Place). The closing event and reception (Sat., Aug 19, 6-8pm at The Schimmel Center at Pace University; 3 Spruce St.) requires a reservation via batterydance.org, where you can also access the full schedule of performances.
INDIA continued from p. 15
his caption to Magnum, was that “Their backs are turned away from Mecca… this lack of orthodoxy may be explained by the fact that their ancestors were forcibly converted to Islam from earlier faiths, that they are constantly subject to strong Hindu influences and that they are geographically isolated from their Moslem (sic) neighbors.” Cartier-Bresson was the consummate master of black and white photography. The photo of the Muslim women, with its painterly look and rich tonality, is fine art. And of course, so are many other images. His 1966 landscape, “Untitled” Udaipur, Rajasthan is magnificent, with fog hanging over the forest below and mountains in the distance; a lone figure in the foreground gives it scale. I wondered what it would have looked like in color, but remembered that CartierBresson had a well-known aversion to using color film. Of course, as a Magnum photographer, he did use color when clients like Life Magazine demanded it. Cartier-Bresson once said, “You just have to live and life will give you pictures” — and it did indeed, and
August 10, 2017
©Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos
Birla House, Delhi India, 1948: Just before breaking his fast, Gandhi dictates a message.
they are here at The Rubin. Through Jan. 29, 2018 at the Rubin Museum of Art (150 W. 17 St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). Curated by Beth Citron. Museum
Hours: Mon. & Thurs., 11 am–5pm; Wed., 11 am–9pm; Fri., 11 am10pm (free admission to galleries after 6pm); Sat. & Sun., 11am–6pm. $15 general admission ($10 for students/
seniors; free admission for seniors on the first Monday of the month; free for ages 12 and younger, and RMA members). Call 212-620-5000 or visit rubinmuseum.org. TheVillager.com
‘UNTAMED!’ sings the praises of opera’s wild side Ensemble’s annual fest pairs emerging artists with timeless classics BY TRAV S.D. No matter what you do in life, you’ve got to start somewhere. If you’re an opera singer, that may not be so easy. The dell’Arte Opera Ensemble hopes to address that. From Aug. 12-27, the company will bring its 15th Annual Summer Festival (this year titled “UNTAMED!”) to downtown performance behemoth La MaMa. This is the festival’s first year at the historic Off-Off Broadway theater. “We had been looking at their rehearsal spaces but then learned that there was an opening in the Ellen Stewart [i.e., La MaMa’s largest theater space] in August,” said Christopher Fecteau, dell’Arte Opera’s executive director. “We couldn’t turn that space down. It’s so big but it also has this raw, rustic feel that works really well for what we do.” As for what they do, dell’Arte’s mission provides “emerging opera artists with training and performance opportunities necessary to bridge the gap between the conservatory and a flourishing career.” Since its inception in 2000, nearly 500 singers have taken part in dell’Arte’s programs. “When I first arrived in New York in 2000,” Fecteau recalled, “I quickly realized that there were few small companies that help young singers get debut role opportunities. That’s the hardest thing for opera singers. You have to have done a role before you can get cast in it professionally. So we give singers a chance to do that in a repertory company, where they get to perform in both well-known and lesser-known operas. The name arose to reflect we’re an ensemble that’s concerned with the craft of the work. We’re trying to create a sense of ongoing continuity over several seasons. We start singers out in smaller roles then they eventually come up to principal parts.” “UNTAMED!” will open with two full productions: Francesco Cavalli’s 1651 “La Calisto” and Leoš Janáek’s 1924 “Píhody lišky Bystroušky” (“The Cunning Little Vixen”). The productions reflect the festival’s theme of wild nature, but are also strong showcase vehicles for the dell’Arte company. “The Cunning Little Vixen,” Fecteau said, “is a well-balanced show, with lots of smaller roles. It gives everyone a chance to perform and sing in the Czech language, which is important because Czech operas are increasingly TheVillager.com
Photo by Nina Bova
A scene featuring the Innkeeper, from dell’Arte Opera Ensemble’s 2016 production of Jules Massenet’s “Manon.”
becoming part of the modern repertoire. Whereas “ ‘La Calisto’ is a 17th century work which sets the conventions of opera for the next 300 years, the touchstone of everything they’ll sing later in their careers, Mozart, Puccini, on and on.” Fecteau explained that dell’ Arte chooses a different theme for its festival every year and this theme, “UNTAMED!,” is meant to spotlight the unpredictable, wild characters of opera, and explore parallels between human, animal, and supernatural realms. In addition to the two full-length, fully-staged operas, “UNTAMED!” will also present recitals that allow ensemble members to sing lead parts. “UNTAMED! Opera Scenes” (Aug. 18 & 22) will feature excerpted scenes from “Carmen,” “Idomeneo,” “La clemenza di Tito,” “Rusalka,” “Die Entführung aus dem Serail,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and more. The festival will be capped off on Aug. 26 with “Wild
Things,” a recital featuring songs about the animal kingdom and other wild creatures, performed by members of dell’Arte ensemble and cover artists, accompanied by dell’Arte musical staff. The dell’Arte Opera Ensemble’s “UNTAMED!” Opera Festival runs
Aug. 12–27, with evening performances at 7:30pm and matinees at 2pm. At the Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa (66 E. Fourth St., btw. Bowery & Second Ave.). Tickets are $26–46, with festival discounts available. For the full performance schedule and reservations, visit dellarteopera.org or call 646-632-2340.
Theater for the New City • 155 1st Avenue at E. 10th St. Reservations & Info (212) 254-1109 For more info, please visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net
TNC’s Dream Up Festival Aug 27 - Sept 17 25 shows 23 World Premieres 2 American Premieres. Dreamupfestival.org
TV in My Bones
Checks and Balances or Bottoms Up!
A romantic comedy for tv junkies, stalkers, futurists, and the cultured set. By C.S. Hanson Performances August 9th - 13th Wed.- Sat. 8:00 PM Sat. & Sun. 3:00 PM $18.00
Written and Directed by: Crystal Field Music Composed by: Joseph Vernon Banks August 5th - September 17th All performance locations and times are available online and are FREE to the public!
August 10, 2017
NOTICE OF NAMES OF PERSONS APPEARING AS OWNERS OF CERTAIN UNCLAIMED PROPERTY HELD BY CARVER FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK The following persons appear from our records to be entitled to unclaimed property consisting of cash amounts of ﬁfty dollars or more. A report of Unclaimed Property will be made to the Comptroller of the State of New York, pursuant to Article III of the Abandoned Property Law. A list of the names contained in such notice is on ﬁle and open to public inspection at the ofﬁce of the bank, located at 75 West 125th Street, New York, NY, 10027 where such abandoned property is payable. Such abandoned property will be paid on or before October 31st next to persons establishing to its satisfaction their right to receive the same. In the succeeding November and on or before the tenth day thereof, such unclaimed property will be paid to the Comptroller of the State of New York, and shall thereupon cease to be liable therefore.
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JEANIE HASSAN 216 W 149TH ST APT 4C NEW YORK, NY 10039-2865
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MARY POWELL 86 WEST 119TH STREET APT#4D NEW YORK, NY 10026-1453 META E WEATHERSBY 83 HAMILTON TER. APT. 24 NEW YORK, NY 10030-7834 METROPOLITAN HOSPITAL AUXILIARY INC 1901 1ST AVE RM 15B-2 NEW YORK, NY 10029-7404
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MIRIAM MONDON 101-125 WEST 147TH STREET #8-J NEW YORK, NY 10039-4301 MONTSERRAT PROG SOC OF NY 207 WEST 137TH ST NEW YORK, NY 10030 NALANII L WILLIAMS 45 W 118TH ST NEW YORK, NY 10026-1930 OTIS MORRIS 200 W 131ST ST APT 1C NEW YORK, NY 10027-2026 PEDRO SANCHEZ 206 W 118TH ST # 4M NEW YORK, NY 10026-1736 PROPHETIC CHURCH OF GOD INC 130 W 129TH ST NEW YORK, NY 10027-2102 REED H BUTTS 155 W 129TH ST NEW YORK, NY 10027-2366 RICHARD BLANDING 42 W. 119TH ST. #8 NEW YORK, NY 10026-1403 RICHARD SMITH 2080 FIRST AVENUE, #2502 NEW YORK, NY 10029-4332 ROBERT D NEIGEBORN 130 MALCOLM X BLVD APT 228 NEW YORK, NY 10026-2512 ROGER FAISON 60 COLUMBUS AVENUE APT 16J NEW YORK, NY 10024 RONALD A KELLY 310 W 93RD ST APT 2G NEW YORK, NY 10025-7228 ROY D REAVIES 630 LENOX AVENUE APT#11P NEW YORK, NY 10037-1247 SAMUEL HOLMES 71 W 112TH ST APT 4G NEW YORK, NY 10026-3933 SANKOFA LAW CENTER LLP 116 W 111TH ST NEW YORK, NY 10026-4206 SAVERIN REALTY CO 17 W 129TH ST NEW YORK, NY 10027-2202 SHAMYA N NORWOOD 1370 5TH AVE APT 10D NEW YORK, NY 10026-3109
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August 10, 2017
Arch ’nt yah glad to be reading your community newspaper?
s s i m t n o D g’e issue! a sin l Call ûõüĘöúôĘöùõú To Subscribe! 20
August 10, 2017
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August 10, 2017
Letters to The Editor LETTERS continued from p. 9
Coler in da house
For more news and events happening now visit TheVillager.com
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August 10, 2017
To The Editor: Re “Affordable housing fight is also focusing on recovering units” (news article, July 20): This is a good beginning and the first sign that Erik Coler, the 25-year-old president of Village Independent Democrats, might just be able to wrestle the club away from a bunch of powerhungry old-timers who seem hell-bent on keeping in place the destructive political machine that the Democratic Party has built in this state and city. I know the players well since I have been a longtime V.I.D. member. I have seen the club become uprooted from its progressive history by the machinations of veteran members who wanted to make sure progressive people like me — who had to turn their back on the club’s leadership and refused to endorse Cuomo or Quinn — were kept in check. We managed to swing the vote to Teachout, but it has been a backroom struggle with the actual membership left out of most decision making. I wish Erik well and support him. I did endorse him when the club was choosing its new president. However, I was chosen to run against a candidate the club had endorsed, Deborah Glick. I had stepped into the shoes of a candidate, Arthur Schwartz, who had been so harassed in public by the team working for the incumbent that it affected his health to the degree his heart doctor said, Stop or you will have a heart attack. He stopped and shortly after did have a heart attack. I stepped up because the incumbent had walked away from her constituents and because of her involvement at the highest level of Albany power games fronting for the now-disgraced former Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver. She won and I got around 1,000 votes after being in the race five weeks. I have since been shunned and demeaned by the winning candidate and her cadre in the V.I.D. leadership. I tried to support Erik but found I was not being notified of meetings. I am now watching them turn on him. I know he is committed to affordable housing issues. But I would like to suggest there is a huge difference with the St
John’s Partners affordable housing units: As small as they are, they will be new units on the market. The housing that Coler is trying to rescue from the hands of greedy, dishonest real estate people is housing people already live in. I am very grateful for Erik’s efforts. But there remains today no low-income senior housing in Community Board 2 — even if he is successful in saving homes for people now living in them, and getting them damages. Jim Fouratt
Win-win on bins To The Editor: Re “Stuy Town is fertile ground for composting program” (news article, July 22): What Rei Moya and Marynia Kruk didn’t tell you is that the tenants who were skeptical of this program had good reason to feel that way. While the composting bins are, indeed, lockable, many of the people using them were not locking them, which meant they were being left open. With multiple bug and rodent traps already in place in the areas where the composting bins are located, the bins’ improper use could easily have increased the bug / rodent problem in the buildings. Under intense tenant pressure on social media to either fix this problem or remove the bins, Mr. Moya found a solution. He had strong magnets placed on the bodies and lids of the bins, which meant that the lids would close shut automatically, circumventing their misuse by tenants. Mr. Moya deserves and has been given praise for coming up with this solution, but it would not have happened without concerned tenants insisting that one be found. Adam Rose E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to email@example.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published. TheVillager.com
THE NEW SOUND OF
BROOKLYN The Community News Group is proud to introduce BROOKLYN PAPER RADIO. Join Brooklyn Paper Editor-in-Chief Vince DiMiceli and the New York Daily Newsâ€™ Gersh Kuntzman every Thursday at 4:45 for an hour of talk on topics Brooklynites hold dear. Each show will feature instudio guests and call-out segments, and can be listened to live or played anytime at your convenience.
JOSEPH LICHTER, D.D.S.
LISTEN EVERY THURSDAY AT 4:45PM ON BrooklynPaper.com/radio TheVillager.com
August 10, 2017
August 10, 2017
PHOTO BY THE VILLAGER
Feeling in the pink on bike paths
igantic pink hibiscus flowers were grabbing cyclistsâ€™ attention this past weekend along the Hudson River bikeway around W. 27th St., above. Meanwhile, Shirley Secunda, co-
chairperson of the Community Board 2 Traffic and Transportation Committee, reported that the volunteer-tended mini-gardens along the new protected Sixth Ave. bike lane are doing great, in-
cluding this one, below, sporting lots of pink echinacea, just north of W. 12th St. There are a total of five of the mini-gardens along the Village stretch of the Sixth Ave. bike path.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHIRLEY SECUNDA
August 10, 2017
‘Times have changed,’ but L.G.B.T. youth still INTERVIEWS AND PHOTOS BY REBECCA WHITE
iscussions swirled earlier this year about whether the Church of St. Luke in the Fields should build a new “mission center” for an L.G.B.T. drop-in center at Hudson and Christopher Sts. At the time, one prominent critic — David Poster, head of the Christopher St. Patrol volunteer anticrime group — said the facility really wasn’t even needed anymore because gay youth are no longer coming to the area in the kind of numbers seen as recently as just eight years ago. Back then, police used cops on horseback and set up light towers at key intersections to try to keep the crowds of youths under control. Since then, however, great strides were made for L.G.B.T. equality under President Obama and there has been increasing acceptance, in general, of L.G.B.T. people in wider society. One person who the reporter for this Q&A spoke with said the new L.G.B.T. youth scene is in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Even so, for some at least, the Christopher St. Pier remains a place to come, to meet and mingle, to “chill,” to find romance or just make some new friends.
AARON WIGGINS, 24, works at Jivamukti yoga school, at 841 Broadway, and is an aerial circus-arts dancer. Originally from Texas, he moved to New York City in 2011 for college, studying ballet at Marymount Manhattan. He got cruised in the pier’s bathroom the day The Villager interviewed him. THE VILLAGER: How long have you been coming to the Christopher St. Pier? A.W.: This is actually the first time at this pier. I’ve been to piers nearby, but I’ve never been to this one. V: Do you come to Christopher St. often? A.W.: I come around every now and then. It’s like a lot of gay people. V: Do you feel more comfortable here than other places in New York? A.W.: I do feel a little more comfortable in this area. I live in West Harlem where gay people are not as common, but I feel very accepted in that neighborhood, as well. V: What has been your best experience at this pier? Was it maybe today? A.W.: It was! This may not even make the article, but I got cruised at this pier already. V: What does that mean? A.W.: It’s like a gay term, as in like when someone wants to hook up with you. It’s very common at piers. Back in the ’70s and ’80s it was like way more common, from what I know of history and articles. The best way I could put it is someone lets you know that they want to hook up with you by either
August 10, 2017
PHOTOS BY REBECCA WHITE
Aaron Wiggins comes to the pier ever y now and then.
Amy Igarashi said that, nowadays, “queer culture has become more prominent and people are more accepting.”
giving you a certain definite look or exposing themselves, which is what happened. V: Where did that happen? A.W.: In the bathroom. But still...it’s like, come on. I’m on the phone with my therapist and it’s like happening. I’m just like, Oh my God. V: Wow, you wouldn’t think that would happen during the day and given the crowd here today. There’s a little baby right there. A.W.: But yes. It’s very prevalent still. V: What was your response to that? Did you ignore it? A.W.: I ignored. I was on the phone. It’s not my first time. I used to work in the nightclubs, so, I get it. It’s like, “All right, come on.” V: When did you come out? A.W.: I was 16. V: Was it hard? A.W.: I think I was lucky because I grew up a ballet dancer, and so it’s like, the odds are... . And my parents never had any qualms about it, even with me
being from Texas. There was never any issue, so I was lucky with that. V: Do you think Christopher St. could use an L.G.B.T. drop-in center? A.W.: I think it’s a good idea mainly just because of whatever Trump’s doing right now. It’s like, are you kidding me? He’s like moving us backwards. If it was different, I would say maybe it’s not as important, but…who knows where we’re headed? I think we should have something, for sure. Especially for youth. I’m 24, but I feel like I’ve already kind of crossed the point where it’s like really tricky. I’ve already made it this far. With all my friends and family, I’m accepted. AMY IGARASHI, 19, bisexual, sophomore astronomy major at San Diego State University in her home town. She was visiting New York City for the weekend. THE VILLAGER: Why did you come to the Christopher St. Pier today? A.I.: Just chillin’ with my friends.
V: Do you feel comfortable here? A.I.: I feel like coming here. I feel more comfortable expressing myself as like more towards...like less as a cishetero person, I guess. And it’s, like, a pretty liberal city. V: So how do you identify? A.I.: I would identify as — like, a lot of people say — bi or I think, kind of like on the bi / pansexual spectrum. More like I don’t really have a preference. It’s a hard question. Most broadly, I would identify as like pan. I feel, for me, that sexuality is kind of fluid. It really depends on the point of my life, but also I feel like I have been attracted to women. But also “woman” ’s a broad term. I’m just open to anything. V: Are you single at the moment? Do you have a girlfriend or boyfriend? A.I.: I’m currently single. V: When did you come out? A.I.: I feel like that’s kind of a hard question. A lot of people say, “What is coming out, really?” Is it telling your close friends or just do you really have to tell the whole world that you’re out? For me there hasn’t been like a comingout thing. I’ve just, like, been more like open about it with a few people in my life. I have queer friends that I’ve definitely talked to about our own queerness and stuff. And there are people who are bicurious that I know. And when sometimes people come out to me, and I’m like, O.K. like, cool. I fall under that umbrella, too. V: Have you gotten more comfortable with your identity over time? A.I.: I think the older I got the more comfortable I felt. And also I feel like queer culture, in general, has like really become more prominent, I guess. People are more accepting, now. When I was younger, that concept wasn’t even there. I didn’t even know it was possible PIER continued on p. 27 TheVillager.com
value Christopher Pier as place to be free PIER continued from p. 27
to be anything more than straight. V: When did you first feel comfortable talking about it your sexual identity? A.I.: Maybe, like, freshman year of college, which would be around 17, 18. V: How would you feel about having an L.G.B.T. drop-in center near here at Christopher and Hudson Sts.? A.I.: Part of me says I don’t know enough about it, in terms of is there a need here for that? I don’t know how much it will be used, but I definitely think that it’s important to have those kinds of facilities. And maybe it doesn’t directly appear that there is a need for it. But once you do have that accessibility and stuff, there will be people that seek that out. I’m always in support of things like that for the queer community. CHELSEA ALLISON, 18, bisexual, just finished high school on Long Island, where she lives in a town she didn’t want to name. She plans to attend The New School in the Village this fall as a freshman. THE VILLAGER: Is this your first time on the pier? C.A.: This is my third time. V: What’s the best experience you’ve had out here? Do you feel more comfortable here than other places? C.A.: Yeah, the pier’s a cool place. I think this would probably be the best time we’ve come. It’s a bunch of us and we just had some girl talk. It’s a pretty open area. It’s nice. Not a lot of congestion of people. For the most part, it’s a really calm atmosphere. V: How old were you when you came out? C.A.: I came out to my mom, the past year and a half. My dad’s pretty recent — about two weeks ago. Yeah. So, that’s an experience. I think the hardest part is understanding where the stigma comes from and understanding that it comes from such a place of fear. That’s what it was. My dad, especially. He’s a retired correction officer, and then just the stigma of homosexuality in the prisons and how that was perpetrated there. And then him coming home and him having his own ideas about what it meant to be a queer body living now in this time and age and my own experience — how those two have collided, almost. It’s been really difficult, but we’re getting there. V: How old were you when you came out to your mom? C.A.: 16. V: Would you support the idea of a drop-in center nearby here on Christopher St.? C.A.: Yes. That’s definitely a necessity that the community needs, just because it’s so common for queer voices to always be stepped on, or for plans to always just fall through. It never works TheVillager.com
Chelsea Allison said she’s had some challenges with her family since coming out, “but we’re getting there.”
“You come out in little ways ever y single day,” Robin Owens said.
Robin Owens said it was like night and day when she left Virginia to come to N.Y.U.
out. So, I think having that and having that place, that stability for people to come and feel welcomed and be able to be themselves is a necessity, and it’s something the community needs. V: Do you feel that, if there was a drop-in center around here, you would ever need to use it? C.A.: Of course…because at the end of the day, while I’m a person, and I’m living life, I’m also a queer person. Because certain times there are certain experiences that you have one day that just kind of mess up your whole day and you just might need a place to go to get stable for a second. And that could be one of those places. And to have that would be fantastic. ROBIN OWENS, 20, sophomore at New York University, works at a Soho pharmacy, models, lives in the East Village. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, she’s been coming to the pier for
slightly more than a year —every few weeks with friends. THE VILLAGER: Why did you come out here today? Do you come to the Christopher St. Pier a lot? R.O.: Yeah. Especially my freshman year. I lived right on Fifth Ave., and so I’d come here with friends, kind of a place to hang out, I guess, and smoke and get away from the campus and the park. Today was just, we were at Washington Square Park trying to kill some time. So, we just decided to skate down here. V: When was the first time you came down to Christopher St. and the pier? R.O.: The first time was I think in April 2016. V: Do you feel more comfortable, in general, on Christopher St.? R.O.: I think, in general, New York is a really safe place...Ever since coming to New York, it’s been the biggest relief off my chest and my shoulders
because people are way less judgmental and just don’t care. Being up here, it’s more that I have felt relief and comfort in my identity. V: How do you identify and when did you come out? R.O.: I would say I identify as bisexual. I’ve known since I was pretty young...10 or 11. But, I definitely never felt comfortable being out at home in Virginia. It’s a stifling place to be. So, ever since coming to N.Y.U., I’ve been out here since my first day. It was like always a nonissue. As soon as I came here, I felt very comfortable. I was 18. V: Did you come out earlier to any family or friends? R.O.: Yeah, I had come out to like my close friends and a couple of people in my family. I was 16. But it was kind of something that I really was uncomfortable with just because people, especially being bisexual, it’s like very different. People seem to understand now, like in Virginia, being gay. They can at least wrap their minds around that. But being bisexual is kind of a different story, because you don’t necessarily fit into a mold. Especially being a bisexual woman, there’s always this idea that you’re doing it for a man’s attention or that you’re lying about it. V: Or that you just haven’t figured it out yet. R.O.: Yeah, that you just want to, like, make out with girls. That’s always the stigma that I kind of felt in Virginia. I ended up meeting so many people here who identify as L.G.B.T. or were in an L.G.B.T. community that it made me way more comfortable being open about it, talking about it, not being uncomfortable making comments, sharing with people, making jokes about it. It’s kind of like you come out in little ways every single day. It’s not like you come out once and you have some tattoo on your head that says, like, “bisexual.” You come out every time somebody says, “Oh, you’re into girls.” V: Would you support the idea of having an L.G.B.T. drop-in center on Christopher St.? R.O.: I would be really in support. I’ve had a lot of friends whose families have been very unaccepting of the fact. And I think that when you live in a city like this — especially me coming from a school like N.Y.U., it’s a very expensive school — so, you don’t really see that side. You really only see the L.G.B.T. parties and people having fun and the sexual side. I think, a lot of times, it’s easy to forget that it’s not as easy for everybody and there are so many L.G.B.T. youth that don’t come from these affluent families and they’re struggling. I think it’s easy to put that out of your mind when it seems like, “Oh, times have changed, yet the area is getting more gentrified.” There is a reason why we don’t see it as much. But just because we don’t see it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not there. August 10, 2017
August 10, 2017
August 10, 2017